At Ducere we aim to foster creativity through our online business courses. A lot of people tend to believe that you’re either a creative person or you’re not. That’s not necessarily the case. All of us are creative to a certain degree, and researchers have found that just simple tweaks to your environment can boost creativity and help you become a more resourceful problem solver.
We’ve gathered seven tips that will help you think more creatively and solve problems faster, so you can start to achieve results you never thought possible.
Utilise frameworks and tools
We used to believe that the more freedom you have, the more creative you will be. Well, as weird as it may sound, setting certain boundaries can in fact increase your creative output. When you’ve got little boundary or structure, or too much choice, it’s easy to become overwhelmed into doing nothing… How many times have you had months before a deadline, only to finally do something about it the week before it’s due? Or perhaps you have not been able to choose what you want to order from the gigantic menu where everything looks delicious!
Simply put, too much choice or too little structure can really make things difficult. Deciding on a time limit for a personal project, coming up with a certain process that will help you get the creative ball rolling, or setting any other types of constraints can actually help you come up with a creative solution faster.
On the same note, there are plenty of tools meant to help you become more creative. Mindtools, for example, is a website that helps identify how creative you are and design a plan to start thinking differently. BrainPlots is an excellent brainstorming tool. Doodlebuddy is a fun app that allows you to tap into your inner expressive artist, as doodling is an extremely effective creative tool.
Get outside your comfort zone
As the famous saying goes, the magic happens outside your comfort zone. When you read the same type of content every day, eat in the same restaurant every Friday night, and spend all your weekends on the couch, there’s little chance to improve your creativity. Instead, spice things up every now and then and you will notice a serious improvement in your creative thinking.
Start consuming content you wouldn’t normally consider – like a blog outside of your industry or a book outside your favourite genre. Travel more. Hang out with a different crowd. Eat something for breakfast you’ve never eaten before. Engage with people you wouldn’t normally talk to. You get the idea. At the very least, it will help you build your network.
Think like your favourite celebrity
Here’s a fun exercise for you – whenever you’re stuck on a certain problem, think about how your favourite celebrity would solve it. Whether that celebrity is Steve Jobs, Taylor Swift, or Albert Einstein, it doesn’t matter. The point is doing this type of thing will get you thinking differently which will inevitably lead to a new idea or different point of view.
Take lessons from previous problems
Being creative is all about seeing, thinking and doing things differently. So when you next get stuck on a solution to a problem, give yourself the opportunity to reflect on a previous challenge you’ve had and how you solved that one.
To make it more useful, pick something that is completely unrelated to the task at hand. For example, if you need to find a new way to generate leads for your business, think about a time that you had to get into your house after you locked your keys inside… Perhaps the idea of going around the back of the house and through the open window might make you realise another way you can reach your target audience. Maybe this is a bit of a secret in the industry. Who knows, the point is it’s a different idea to break the same old thinking you normally undertake.
You certainly know by now that exercise is good for you for a number of reasons, so here’s one more: it can boost your creativity. Exercise clears your brain and allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious according to Psychology Today. Consequently, if you’re feeling stuck on a problem, a short bike ride or a quick jog around the block might help you come up with an unexpected solution. Exercise is definitely something to prioritise in your business life!
Use of ambient sounds
Working in complete silence might not be the best option available for creative individuals. Ambient sounds were found to improve creative thinking, while silence is preferable when you need to seriously focus on a task. What kind of ambient sounds, you might ask? The gentle hum of a coffee shop is particularly good! But don’t worry, if you’re not a fan of working from a coffee place, don’t worry, there’s an app for that. And if all else fails, just the noise of passing traffic at your local park may be enough.
Work when you’re tired
It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s a great way to improve your creativity. Sleepy brains apparently think more freely, so night owls might be more creative in the morning and early birds late at night. Famous artist Salvador Dali was a master at this – he was intrigued with the images which occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking so he used a special technique to make sure he would be able to capture them.
Luckily, creativity is like a muscle that can be exercised. The more creative endeavors you embark on, the more imaginative you will become. Consider the tips above to boost your creativity and keep exercising your mind each and every day. Puzzles, Sudoku, even board games can help you become a more inventive individual. You just need to be willing to give yourself space to grow.
To begin on a journey of education where you’ll engage with this type of thinking every day, check out our courses… you’re bound to love them!
By Ducere’s Head of Bachelors – Omar De Silva
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Ducere